Hello fellow crafters and bloggers! Today I want to share with you how I make money with a DIY and craft blog. It really is possible.
When I first started my blog in September 2017 I loved reading other bloggers income reports. (and I still do!) I knew in my heart I would get there someday.
But most bloggers that were sharing income reports were in the finance niche. And I couldn’t wrap my head around how I could apply their methods to a craft blog. It seemed like the only way to make money blogging was to blog about blogging.
I seriously considered changing niches.
I really did.
I’m a stay at home mom and my husband works in retail (read low-pay). We have 0 debt, I can talk budgeting and money saving tips with the best of them.
But my passion is teaching people how to craft and do DIY projects. I really wanted this blog to work.
And then I met another craft blogger. From the first day I reached out to her she’s been so helpful and transparent. It really made things click for me and I saw that is was possible to have a business with a DIY blog.
It really makes a big difference to see what’s working and not working for others in your niche. It truly does.
So I am going to share my journey with you. I’ll let you know what’s been working well for me and what’s been a big flop.
*This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience.
The First Months of My DIY and Craft Blog
There’s not much to report in the first months, but I wanted to give a brief month by month rundown up to my current May income report.
For one I think it helps to see we all start making pennies and scraping for page views. Plus I can share what contributed to the numbers climbing.
**UPDATE** I first published this income report in June of 2018. It’s currently Feb 2019, so I’ve added an update to the bottom of the post.
- Page views – 523
- Income – $0.22 (from Google Adsense)
- Subscribers – 0
- Page views -1045
- Income -$22.50 ($6.50 from Adsense and $16.00 from affiliates)
- Subscribers -13
From reading other bloggers advice and income reports I knew that in the beginning, I needed to put my head down and focus on creating content and learning Pinterest. And that’s what I did. Then in November, I started getting my first viral pins.
- Page views -17,041
- Income -$61.37 ($58.97 from Adsense and $2.40 from affiliates)
- Subscribers -29
- Page Views -14,569
- Income -$53.40 ($50.19 Adsense and $3.21 Affiliates)
- Subscribers -54
December went down partially from the Holidays, but mostly because I froze the first two weeks of December. I was kind of afraid of the success I started seeing in November because I didn’t think I could replicate it.
Most All of my posts getting views were Christmas crafts and all I could think was ‘What’s going to happen in January’
I let fear hold me back and I don’t recommend you do that. Just keep going. Keep creating content.
- Page views -31,144
- Income -$122.46 ($118.54 Adsense and $3.92 affiliates)
- Subscribers -76
Thank goodness I got over the fear fairly quick! I wrote a post in January that went viral and is still one of my top posts today.
Constantly creating content shows you pretty quick the types of posts that resonate with people and the types of posts that are a big flop.
At this point, I have mostly flops, but just enough good ones that I’m scratching the surface of understanding what is good.
- Page Views 25,583
- Income -$105.18 ($102.47 Adsense and $2.71 affiliates)
- Subscribers 119
Apparently, February is a notoriously low month for page views from Pinterest. And after Valentines Day my views tanked. Over 90% of my traffic was coming from Pinterest. I was confident with my Pinterest strategies at this point so I decided to start working on SEO and Facebook to diversify my traffic.
SEO is more of a long-term game and I’m just now starting to see some payoff in June from the work I started in February.
Facebook- well, it’s Facebook and it was mostly a flop. It was around this time or shortly thereafter that they did another big algorithm change and pages were being seen even less. Growing a Facebook page seemed like another full-time job. So I switched gears and started working on growing what mattered.
The Tides Start To Shift
- Page Views -35,222
- Income – $511.94 ($238.75 Mediavine ad network, $59.87 Adsense, and $213.32 affiliates)
- Subscribers – 420
And what matters is an Email list.
Something big happened in February that attributed to my subscriber and affiliate income growth. I decided to invest in some blogging education and enrolled in the List Love Email course. This course shows you exactly what you need to do to start growing loyal subscribers.
I ten out of ten highly recommend List Love to anyone who is struggling to grow their list. (or just wants to see more growth)
You can get started with the free list growth ebook found here.
You’ll see my subscriber numbers and income start to climb in the next months. There is a direct correlation between the two. Email is a big deal. Huge.
Also once I hit 25k sessions in 30 days I applied for Mediavine ad network. The earnings posted from Mediavine happened like the last week and half of March compared to $59 from Adsense the first three weeks or so. Big difference.
- Page views – 63,134
- Income -$2528.43 ($740.62 MediaVine Ads and $1787.81 Affiliates)
- Subscribers – 989
Sometimes there’s a bit of a delay in the blogging world. What you work on today will pay off down the road. I continued implementing the strategies I learned in the List Love email course and more than doubled my subscribers.
More subscribers = more page views and more affiliate income.
Plus at the beginning of March, I did a really big thing. Like a huge thing. I enrolled in the ultimate blogging course called Elite Blog Academy (EBA). EBA teaches you how to grow your blog into a business, and it’s really paying off.
The thing with EBA is though, you can only get in once a year. I was super lucky that I didn’t miss enrollment, it’s such a short window. The only chance you have of not missing it is to be on their wait list here, so be sure to get on it now.
I started implementing what I was learning right away and nearly doubled my page views in April.
So now that you have an overview of what contributed to my growth in the first 8 months, let’s dig into my current income report.
May 2018 DIY and Craft Blog Income Report
May is my current income report, so I’ll go into a little more detail. Plus I’ll show you my monthly expenses. I generally keep a pretty tight budget. And in the beginning, I barely had a budget at all.
After I paid for hosting and a theme I didn’t buy anything else for months with the exception of Pic Monkey. And that was only because I needed a way to edit photos and make pins for Pinterest. You really can start a profitable blog for very little investment.
But if you want to grow faster and skip a lot of the struggles, I highly suggest you invest in your blogging education.
Enough rambling, let’s get to it.
Page Views – 76,450
Total Income -$1950.93
- MediaVine Ads -$1055.50
- Affiliates- $40.39
- Core Affiliates -$855.04
Subscribers – 2458
Expenses – $47.98
- Pic Monkey (Picture Editor) -$7.99
- BoardBooster (Pinterest Scheduler) -$5.00
- ConvertKit (email provider) -$29.99
- Facebook Ads -$5.00
Let’s talk about the income. It dropped by almost $600.00 this month and I was expecting that. One of my core affiliates is a course that only opened for one week in April. That course accounted for over a thousand dollars of my income in April.
So I set my income goal for May at $2000.00. I fell a bit short but I’m still good with it. I think setting goals is very important. It helps me be intentional in everything I do.
I knew I could hit (or at least come close) to my May income goal because my Email list continues to grow pretty rapidly. I more than doubled my subscribers again in May all because I invested in List Love back in February.
Not only does a strong email list boost affiliate income, but it also boosts page views and thus ad income as well.
So what’s the difference between an affiliate and a core affiliate? Core affiliates is a strategy I adapted from Rosemarie Groner found here.
It’s basically finding a small group of affiliates that I love and that my readers love and that pays decent commission. I can talk about and link to those affiliates all day long throughout many blog posts and emails.
What I’m counting as regular affiliate income are the links that are specific to just one item. Like here is the cool thing I made and here’s a link to buy the supplies so you can make one too. While right now it looks like a big flop, I am learning and getting better at boosting that type of affiliate income. However, core affiliates are working much better for me.
So let’s take a look at everything that is working for me up to this point.
- EMAIL – Using List Love to build and nurture my Email list is a big win. I now have a group of loyal readers that grows every day. They tell me what they want and need.
- I am listening to my readers. I write blog posts and find affiliates that they ask for. The result is higher pageviews and more income.
- Core Affiliates – By using Rosemarie’s core affiliate strategy I’ve come up with a small number of affiliates my readers love and I can talk about throughout my blog and emails.
- Investing in my blog education. Elite Blog Academy is giving me the framework I need to turn my blog into a profitable and sustainable business. By following their step by step guide my blog continues to grow every month.
- Setting goals. This helps me stay on track and do everything with the intention of meeting those goals.
- SEO. I started learning how to optimize my posts for SEO (Google) back in February. It’s now starting to pay off. Traffic that comes from Google tends to stay longer and convert better than traffic that comes from Pinterest. I still have more to learn with this one though.
- Comparing myself to other bloggers. Not only is comparison the thief of joy, it’s also the killer of productivity. There will always be prettier blogs and more talented bloggers.
And every time I go down that rabbit trail of thinking that I will never be ‘that good’ it gets bad. Ideas stop flowing, I get down, my productivity goes down, it’s just bad.
I’m learning to put my blinders on to other blogs and just serve my readers.
- Facebook. Sigh. It’s a love-hate relationship really. Facebook groups are helpful though a time suck. My Facebook page costs too much time for very little return on investment.
Facebook ads have mostly been a flop. I did have one successful campaign I ran for one of my core affiliates. It converted well. But ads to build my email list are not converting like I want. I’ve run a few small dollar ads that didn’t do squat, so I haven’t invested more into it.
In the future, I am going to wait until I see an Opt-in is popular and then try some ads on it. Up to this point, I’ve been promoting new Opt-Ins without knowing if they are going to be a hit or not.
I’m starting to dip my toes into making my own products. This is by far the scariest and hardest thing I’ve done. But it will be worth it in the end.
I’m also looking into adding more core affiliates to my list. I keep testing new ones with my email list.
As for future income reports……does it help you? Because putting my income out there isn’t the most comfortable thing for me to do. But if you find it useful to your journey I will continue to do it through email.
Simply fill out the form below and I’ll give a breakdown of my income, biggest wins, and biggest flops each month. Let’s do this blogging thing.
Update February 2019
What a difference a few months make! When I first published this income report I was still in the middle of EBA.
EBA is Elite Blog Academy, the course I signed up for that teaches you how to turn a blog into a sustainable business.
It’s not a quick and easy task. It takes some hard work, early mornings and late nights.
But man the payoffs can be huge!
My pageviews have climbed to over 150K in January, my mailing list to over 15K, and my income to over 5 figures a month. And I’m still small potatoes in the blogging world.
I seriously pinch myself everyday because I don’t believe it’s real. That I get to make crafts and share my DIY projects and help people and make a full time income doing it.